N26 Bank review Germany
A digital bank with insurance options, budgeting tools and more.
N26 is a digital bank account and app that has a number of useful features. These include automatic spending categorisation and a daily spend figure to help you manage your money, customisable withdrawal limits and Spaces to help you save for a goal.
In this review we break down all of N26’s features, costs and limits so you can see if the app is going to suit you.
Currency conversion fee
What's in this review?
- What is N26?
- How does N26 work in Germany?
- What features do you get with N26?
- How do N26 accounts work?
- Compare N26 accounts
- How do you use N26 abroad?
- How much does N26 cost in Germany?
- Is N26 safe?
- Pros and cons of N26
- Compare N26 with other digital banks in Germany
- Have more questions about using N26 in Germany?
What is N26?
N26, originally called Number 26, was founded in February 2013 and is currently headquartered in Berlin. While it’s run out of Germany, it’s available in a number of countries throughout Europe as well as the UK and has recently launched in the US. N26 currently offers a number of personal and business bank account options as well as an app and cards.
How does N26 work in Germany?
When you sign up with N26 you have three options to choose from: the N26 account, N26 You or N26 Metal. All three accounts come with a Mastercard, an app, free ATM withdrawals in Euros and free payments in any currency. You’ll also benefit from spending insights, security features, and convenient features to help you understand and manage your money.
You manage your N26 account out of the app, which is accessible from your smartphone, or the N26 web app.
What features do you get with N26?
- Make transfers. With N26 you can send, receive and even request money from friends instantly.
- Google Pay and Apple Pay. You can make contactless payments with your smartphone by adding your N26 card to Apple Pay or Google Pay.
- In-app security. You’re able to set and change daily spend and withdrawal limits, reset your PIN, lock or unlock your card and enable or disable online or foreign payments.
- Spending statistics. Get automatic categorisation and breakdowns of your purchases and create your own personal tags to organise your transactions.
- Spaces. If you want to save for a specific goal you can use N26’s Spaces function. It lets you put money into small sub-accounts that are kept away from your main funds.
- MoneyBeam. This feature lets you send money to your contacts without needing to know their bank details. Money is sent to fellow N26 users instantly or within two days if they’re not with N26.
- IBAN. You’ll be able to set up direct debits and receive and make payments the way you would with a traditional bank.
How do N26 accounts work?
N26 offers three different account tiers: the standard N26 account, You and Metal. Here are the costs and features of these accounts:
Compare N26 accounts
How do you use N26 abroad?
Travelling with N26 is cheaper than using most cards from traditional banks as it doesn’t charge any fees for foreign currency transactions. You won’t need to pay when you withdraw money in Euros and you can make free payments in any currencies. However, you will pay €1.70 for international ATM withdrawals if you don’t have a paid account.
You’re also able to send money in 19 different currencies using the Transferwise feature accessible in the N26 app.
How much does N26 cost in Germany?
There are a few different costs and limits that come with an N26 account. These include:
- Monthly fees. The N26 You account comes with a monthly fee of €0 and the Metal account comes with a monthly fee of €16.90.
- Currency conversion fee. N26 charges no foreign currency fees across its three accounts.
- ATM fees. You receive 5 withdrawals per month fee-free when withdrawing Euros. For any other currency, you will pay a €1.70 fee if you have a free account. There is no fee for international ATM withdrawals if you have a paid account.
- Overdraft fee. If you overdraw your account you will be charged 8.9% on the amount you overdraw.
Is N26 safe?
Every N26 bank account has deposit protection: the compensation scheme of German banks guarantees up to €100,000. N26 also offers a Bug Bounty programme which offers cash rewards to encourage security researchers to track down bugs or vulnerabilities.
The app itself has a three-tier security procedure protecting your account and transactions. Your account can only be paired to one smartphone at a time, you must log in to your account using your password or fingerprint and you must verify all online and offline transactions with your PIN.
Pros and cons of N26
- It’s easy to manage and track your spending real time
- Your account can be accessed on your smartphone or via N26’s web app
- There are various security features such as the ability to lock and unlock your card
- All payments, both national and international, are completed within one working day
- You can make fee-free card transactions abroad
- The Transferwise feature allows you to transfer Euros to 19 different currencies
- MoneyBeam lets you transfer money to friends and family instantly
- You are limited to 5 free ATM withdrawals per month in Euros
- There is a 0% surcharge for foreign currency withdrawals if you have the free N26 account
- N26 has no bank branches which is something to consider if you like face-to-face service
Compare N26 with other digital banks in Germany
*You must transfer at least 3 salary payments (wages, salary, pension, salary, BAföG) of at least 1,000 € per month by 31 March 2021.